‘Mandals followed rules or cancelled events’
Dahi handi events were organised across the city and organisers stuck to Supreme Court rules, saying restrictions are necessary
While the Supreme Court order on the restrictions of the height of the human pyramid and the age of the participants (govindas) was not well received earlier, Navi Mumbai residents celebrated dahi handi abiding by the guidelines.
Nitin Pawar, deputy commissioner of police (special branch), said there has been no report of any mandal violating norms. “Our officers are patrolling all the pandals in uniform as well as in civil clothes. But we have not come across any mandal that has violated norms. Those that could not accept the restrictions, probably cancelled the celebrations,” Pawar said.
Sunil Sawardekar, president of Kharghar Rahivashi Sangh Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal, who organised the festival at sector 15, said, “Dahi handi is celebrated only once a year. But if anyone suffers injuries during it, he may have to suffer all through his life. Therefore, it is necessary to have some rules and we have welcomed the restrictions.”
The festival was also celebrated with similar enthusiasm in the newly developed areas like Ulwe and Roadpali. However, the number of participants there was minimal. “To ensure that no minor govinda participates, we took lists of the entrants’ names and age from every group on their letter head. We also strictly followed the set deadlines and video recorded the celebrations,” Sawardekar said.
Political party leaders too held their celebrations at Kopar Khairane, Vashi, Airoli, Panvel among others. “Nearly 100 teams participated at our mandal at New Panvel. We gave Rs5,000 to each of them. This was for the 13th year we organised the festival. We followed all the rules and regulations,” said Vishal Mane, an organiser of Ramseth Thakur Vichar Manch.
“A festival can never be bigger than anyone’s life. Therefore, we are supportive of the new restrictions. We organised Dahi Handi near in Kharghar and arranged for medical insurances for the participants,” said Kiran Patil, general secretary of BJP (Kharghar unit). Participants attempt to break a handi at Juinagar on Janmasthami on Thursday. (Right) A young boy breaks the dahi handi at the Juinagar event. Govindas form a pyramid during dahi handi celebrations at Ban Vaibhav Kala Krida Niketan in Kopar Khairane.